The lute caseAmeribag with my old purse. It's so... sage! And tall. I found out one of my coworkers has an Ameribag, today -- she brought it to the circ desk to pick up a book. Since nobody else was around we geeked out about its bizarre ergonomic qualities for a while.
WIth cat for comparison. Cat does not fit in Ameribag.
Inside, the water bottle is really the only thing taking advantage of the bag's height. Of course, I've got all that empty space, so I can add a book or two without it getting cramped. Having packed it up, I do now wish it had a few smaller pockets. My purse had four small pockets, perfectly sized for a few credit card-sized items, or a small clip-on eyeglass case, or a microfiber glass-cleaning cloth. Those small items seem to get a bit lost in the larger pockets of this bag, but I'll fiddle around with where I'm putting them and see how it goes. There's a keyring inside, which is fabulous. The stuff I've got in the bag in this photo is everything that I usually put in my purse -- actually, with a water bottle and iPod and camera, the purse bulges and gets hard to manage. For normal carrying, I had to keep it to two of those three. With this bag I'll have no trouble carrying, say, the extra plastic cups we get at the zoo.
And the bizarre thing? It really, truly feels lighter than my purse equivalently loaded. You can heft it by the strap, feel how heavy it is... and then it's half that weight on your shoulder. My coworker said the same thing about hers. I think I'm going to have to rename it from "lute case" to "Bag of Holding."